Hong Kong stocks slide on China slowdown concerns as Evergrande sinks to seven-year low on debt crisis

·3-min read

Hong Kong stocks fell for a second day before reports on China’s economy indicating a deeper slowdown in August. China Evergrande slumped to the lowest since 2014 after it hired financial advisers to tackle its debt burden.

The Hang Seng Index sank 1.2 per cent to 25,502.23 at the close on Tuesday. The Hang Seng Tech Index lost 1.4 per cent, adding to a 2.3 per cent decline on Monday sparked by concerns about tightening fintech regulations. China’s Shanghai Composite Index retreated 1.4 per cent.

Alibaba Health Information Technology and Country Garden Holdings slumped by at least 5.3 per cent, among the market’s worst performers. Countering losses, PetroChina advanced 3.9 per cent after crude oil topped US$70 a barrel, as a storm approaching the Gulf of Mexico clouded supply outlook.

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China Evergrande, the country’s most-indebted developer, tumbled 12 per cent to a seven-year low of HK$2.97, bringing its slump to 80 per cent this year. The firm hired Houlihan Lokey and Admiralty Harbour Capital as financial advisers to tackle its debt problem, it said in a stock exchange filing on Tuesday, a precursor to potential restructuring of its offshore debt.

Evergrande’s restructuring ‘quasi unavoidable’ as ‘free pass’ on debt binge ends

A new batch of China’s economic report cards may offer an insight into how Asia’s largest economy is faring amid pockets of lockdowns triggered by the sporadic Delta outbreak. An unprecedented crackdown on industries ranging from internet platform operators to private education may also hurt spending confidence.

Attempt to sell the China Evergrande Centre on Gloucester Road in Wan Chai, Hong Kong has not been successful yet. Photo: Tyrone Siu
Attempt to sell the China Evergrande Centre on Gloucester Road in Wan Chai, Hong Kong has not been successful yet. Photo: Tyrone Siu

“Major overseas economies may face a slowdown going forward and the room for further monetary and fiscal boost is very limited,” said Wang Yitang, an analyst at Huaxi Securities. “That will have repercussions on the Hong Kong market. The risk of a pullback from the recent market rebound is growing.”

Retail sales, industrial production and investments probably all moderated last month, according to estimates of analysts tracked by Bloomberg. The government will release the August statistics at 10am on Wednesday.

Elsewhere, most equity markets in the region traded higher on Tuesday, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 reaching the highest point since 1990 before an expected Cabinet reshuffle.

Three stocks traded for the first time in the mainland market. Shanghai Ailu Package, which makes paper and plastic packaging, surged 589 per cent in Shenzhen. Guizhou Zhenhua E-chem and Zhejiang Benli Technology, which make chemical products, jumped 300 per cent and 84 per cent respectively.

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